View Full Version : Which was the first single seat fighter to have radio as standard?

4th Oct 2019, 17:10
As the title says, which was the first single seat fighter to have a radio as standard? By this I mean transmit/receive voice radio, not Morse.
I don't know, so I'm hoping someone does.

4th Oct 2019, 22:31
All I could guess at would be that this was probably in the early to mid-1920s. I doubt that any particular fighter was designed specifically to have transmitter/receiver equipment installed, but that greater interest was probably the driver, and industry would have attempted to meet the requirements. Come to think of it, answer (or at least the RAF answer - cannot vouch for any other country, and there could well be several contenders) may lie in the RAF WW2 Narratives, of which I have photocopies somewhere, which details the improvements and developments of airborne wireless apparatus (as it was known then!) I think there were about 6 volumes in this series, the one in question being "Aircraft radio". Not quite certain where my copies are at moment (result of a massive convulsion in my life - moving house 6 months ago), so perhaps somebody else on this forum has easy access to these wonderful reference books.

5th Oct 2019, 18:57
In April 1915, Captain J.M. Furnival was the first person to hear a voice from the ground from Major Prince who said, “If you can hear me now, it will be the first time speech has ever been communicated to an airplane in flight.” In June 1915, the world’s first air-to-ground voice transmission took place at Brooklands, England over about 20 miles. Ground-to-air was initially by Morse code, but it is believed 2-way voice communications were available and installed by July 1915. By the early 1916, the Marconi Company (England) started production of air-to-ground radio transmitters/receivers which were used in the war over France.

The first time airplanes in-flight communicated with each other directly via radio was on September 2, 1916. This marks a historic advancement in the world of aviation, truly the one that has shaped the world of military and commercial aviation.

Link refers: 2-way radio (https://www.baatraining.com/pilots-using-radio/)

and a more detailed description of the history of air to ground comms can be found here:

A2G Radio (http://marconiheritage.org/ww1-air.html)


longer ron
5th Oct 2019, 20:11
For the RAF it would possibly have been either the Gloster Gladiator or Hurricane - both originally fitted with TR9 HF sets - these sets were pretty poor as rgds range and clarity.
After 1940 Fighter Command started using the TR1133 VHF set (much improved range/clarity)